It’s Summer; Get Out Into That Garden!

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Went back to one of my favourite places for getting information about older people , which is the the King’s Fund and found this! Last month they published a report extolling the virtues of gardening. As well as the obvious physical benefits – digging or raking a lawn for 30 minutes requires as much energy as a 2km (1.2-mile) run –  it appears gardening can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and cancer. But even gentle gardening had an impact in much less obvious ways, the report said. It could improve balance, thus helping reduce falls in older people and it is also a recognised way of tackling anxiety and stress.

Simply being in a garden can be beneficial too.In care homes, gardens have been found to be good for reducing the agitation and aggression linked to dementia, while hospices have found the tranquillity of nature can play an important part in end-of-life care. so if you want to find out more you can access the report at http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Gardens_and_health.pdf

Another resource that appeared recently was produced by a group of Community Occupational Therapists in working within West Lothian Council social services. This booklet is unusual as its design is based on principles that value the importance of people remaining as independent and active as possible, and the positive effect this has on health and wellbeing. So its a rough guide to living well with dementia. If you want to look at what they have suggested and share this resource more widely you can find it at:

http://www.westlothianchcp.org.uk/media/9457/Living-well-at-home-with-dementia/pdf/Living_well_at_home_with_dementia.pdf

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